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With Thanksgiving behind us, any learning experiences to take into the upcoming holiday season?

I know that sometimes the lack of routine or the agitation of having lots of people around can be problematic for our loved ones.  We are keeping the holiday low key for my Mom’s sake (Ahlzheimer’s).  Not sure yet what the Christmas holiday will hold for us.  It will depend on how my husband is feeling (LBD).  I tend to like to plan in advance, but am finding that with LBD, it isn’t always possible.  (Isn’t that an understatement???!!!)

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submitted by Carol B on Monday, 11/29/2010 - 2:41pm

My plan for this year is to stay flexible through the holidays. Last year I ended up being disappointed because I made so many plans and then, well, LBD had other plans for us! So I'm trying for a "chill" attitude this year, as my daughter says -LOL!  

submitted by Vivian on Sunday, 11/28/2010 - 2:22am

I have planned to attend a family reunion,  only planned at this moment.  It will be ok if I am not able to attend because of my husband.  My parents recently came to our house and noticed the change in my husband.  I also explained that being in a different setting might be difficult for him, so attending a family reunion for Christmas may or may not happen for us.  I might call and say, I am on the way if all works out to attend. Going to his brother's house worked out ok, only there for the afternoon to evening. 

submitted by JeanneG on Sunday, 11/28/2010 - 4:00pm

My husband has LBD, and that is characterized by strong (and unpredictable) fluctuations. He has good days and not-so-good days. I am determined to maintain the best quality of life possible under the circumstances for both of us, and that requires a lot of flexibility. We no longer have season tickets to anything, but I try to pick out individual concerts and events we would enjoy. That means we've given away a number of tickets at the last moment, but we've also attended a lot of concerts and plays in the nearly 8 years he has had the disease. We go to most family events and many celebrations with friends, but everyone understands if we don't stay long or if we simply can't come at the last minute.I've also discovered that it is critical for me to identify what is truly important for me to attend, and to work hard to make that possible. There are family events that are 4-hour drive away. I have decided that they are very important to me, and I make backup plans for someone to care for my husband if I have to go alone. Last year hubby was not up to making the trip but I went. This year he was able to attend my aunt's 100th birthday, but if he hadn't been able to, I had arranged things so that I could go. If I'd gone alone it would have been a quick up-and-back trip. Since we were together we turned it into a 3-day getaway and had a chance to visit with some relatives one-on-one and also had a side trip to a nice museum. During the big party itself he was able to eat and accept greetings from the many people who stopped by at our table. After a while he retreated to the car to get away from the noise and confusion and I continued to mingle, checking on him a few times.Next month we have tickets to take 3 great-grandkids to a holiday play. Hubby loves this kind of thing, and I sincerely hope he'll be able to do it. If not, I'll take the kids and have someone stay with hubby, or I'll have someone else take the kids (depending on hubby's situation.) Planning to attend something these days is sure more complicated than just ordering the tickets!It is not like it used to be, for sure, or the way we would like it to be, but it is the best we can make it now.

submitted by Vivian on Monday, 11/29/2010 - 2:05am

Thank you!  I have done the same thing.  I planned on attending my "reunion" weekend - two different reunions that happen to be the same weekend - Family reunion and 30th high school weekend.  I told my family I was going, really going leaving that Friday and returning Monday.  My husband did not go, so my son was home to take care of his dad and I traveled with my 15mth old granddaughter and pulled our camper.  We had a blast.  There was plenty of family to take care of my granddaughter while I attended high school activites.  She traveled very well and enjoy all of the relatives while camping and attend the family reunion. Next will be a Christmas family get-together.  I have to wait and see; I am making arrangements both ways, with or without my husband, if I am able to go or not.  Also, my family is a 4hr drive away also.  So I do plan on extra time and extra stops if needed.  

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